(Jerusalem) — Behind his back, Aharon (“Nonie”) Cohen Mohliver’s colleagues call him “a little Bibi,” a reference to Knesset Member and former Prime Minister Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu, the political dynamo with whom he has spent the second year of his KIEDF Koret fellowship.

Energetic, articulate, and highly motivated, Mohliver has dived into policy research with a vengeance. In his first year, working with Economics Committee Chair Amnon Cohen, he wrote not one, but two policy papers on conditions adversely affecting small-business interests in Israel: One on bank credit, and one on business licensing.

The issues, now under discussion in the Knesset, underscore core structural problems in the Israeli economy. And therein lies the power of the KIEDF Koret Fellows program: Problems encountered by small-businesses in the field are examined by fellows selected from the brightest graduates of Israel’s universities and placed with members of the Knesset or with regulatory agency heads. The KIEDF Koret Fellow Aharon (“Nonie”) Cohen Mohliver Education reform key to economic prosperity 6 fellows’ mission is to develop and advocate free-market policies addressing issues that facilitate small business development, employment expansion, and private-sector economic growth in Israel.

Mohliver, a Hebrew University graduate, was one of the rare fellows invited to stay in the program a second year. Working with the well-known Netanyahu, he has focused on a problem of personal interest: the Israeli education system.

Building on the Dovrat report, a study similar to the No Child Left Behind Act, Mohliver advocates for education reforms that will bring a businesslike approach to education, including local autonomy for principals to make personnel and budget decisions, and higher salaries for teachers. Unless it’s improved soon, Israel’s education system will impede the country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace, Mohliver said.

“Education is a key to economic success,” Mohliver said. “The Israeli people deserve nothing less than an excellent education system that will help us succeed internationally.”